With rap legend LL Cool J blaming radio for hurting the music industry, SOHH recently hit up fellow hip-hop veteran DJ Prince Paul to find out what he feels is negatively impacting the genre.
In Prince’s eyes, rappers’ emphasis on riches rather than love for the genre hurt hip-hop.
“I think hip-hop is lacking genuine love,” Paul told SOHH. “I can’t even say we because the real hip-hop pioneers are like DJ Kool Herc even though people look at me and say, ‘Oh, you’re old school.’ But when I came in, we really fought for the respectiability of the art. People who are researching the genre always forget this part. A while ago, people did not respect hip-hop or rap music as a viable source of music. We weren’t allowed in awards shows and then once we were allowed in, it wasn’t televised. I remember when I went off to college and being one of the few black people. I remember mentioning hip-hop and people saying, ‘Ugh. That music?’ We fought for the music, we fought for the love of the music. It seems like back then we fought to get considered as artists and now it’s almost exploited. People are not like, ‘I love hip-hop and I’ll fight for it.’ Now the idea is, ‘I make money.’ It’s very little about the music and what can you ‘get’ from it. I think the love for the music is what’s been missing from hip-hop.” (SOHH)
Earlier this week, LL Cool J said radio’s lack of originality is killing the music industry.
“The biggest problem to me in music right now is radio,” LL said in an interview. “I think that radio has gotten to the point where, you know, you hear the same thing over and over again, so much because you have a group of people controlling it, no disrespect, they’re doing their jobs, but you have a certain group of people that are controlling the airplay to the point where it makes you want to throw up. It’s crazy, the airplay situation. There used to be a time, and this is a good thing, where you would hear different kinds of music and different genres of music playing back-to-back. But what has happened is, now they’ve gotten to the point where the only audience they can hold on to is 14 and younger because everybody else is online, grabbing their music, creating their playlists, listening to what they want to work out to because the radio drives them crazy. I think at some point, some radio station some where is going to have to say, ‘You know what? It’s time for us to program a little differently and trust that the music’s great.'” (Forbes)
A couple years ago, rapper-turned-executive Bubba Sparxxx told SOHH swagger jacking has hurt the rap game.
“I don’t know [what’s going on in hip-hop] but I know I’m going to be original,” Bubba told SOHH when asked about his take on the state of hip-hop. “Any music people hear from me, from this point forward in my career is going to be original. It’s going to be music that only I can make and if I get frustrated with what’s going on when I listen to hip-hop, it’s with carbon copies. I like Soulja Boy because what he did was original. I’m a big Ying Yang Twins fan but I get [mad] when I hear so many carbon copies of what the last person was doing because of it being successful. That’s when I get a little frustrated [with hip-hop] because I’m like, ‘We’re all individuals here.’ Every person that’s been born into this world was born as an individual with things that separate them from others. For me, that’s what music or just art, period, is about. It’s about making that translate, whatever is unique about you, it’s about making it translate.” (SOHH)
G-Unit leader 50 Cent previously said he felt hip-hop lost its connection with the core audience.
“When I offer aggression, I offer it from an author, a real place,” Fif said in an interview. “It’s who I am; it’s who I had to be. Not even by choice, but to survive where I came from. So a lot of actual artists don’t have it. They don’t have that thing. Waka Flocka, ‘Hard in the Paint,’ Gucci [Mane], those guys have that…It’s just a lot of the other artists, I don’t believe them. I believe hip-hop is in a struggle of being artistic or [having] authenticity–which one matters? Because a lot of them that write music that has a street-life theme to it haven’t actually been exposed to very much of that. It’s starting to feel like it doesn’t matter. I’m watching it, and I’m like, Okay, it sounded great, but ya lyin’.” (XXL Mag)
Check out some recent Prince Paul footage below: